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March 1, 2016

/ 11:30 p.m. CT (0530 GMT Mar 2)




Yearlong crew lands

: Russia's Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft landed from the International Space Station on Tuesday (Mar. 1), bringing home cosmonaut Sergey Volkov and the first crew to spend a year on the orbiting outpost, Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Launched in March 2015, Kelly and Kornienko were on the space station for 340 days, collecting data to support future missions out into the solar system, including sending crews to Mars. Kelly now holds the U.S. record for the most time in space and the longest spaceflight by an American.


March 2, 2016

/ 1:30 a.m. CT (0730 GMT)


LEGO space station crew

: British astronaut Tim Peake bid his Earth-bound crewmates a fond farewell from the space station Tuesday (March 1) by revealing the LEGO minifigures that he brought for them. The 2-inch-tall toys created by Minifigs.me included small doppelgängers of the six-person Expedition 46 crew, including year-long mission astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.


March 3, 2016

/ 4:15 a.m. CT (1015 GMT)




ET comes home

: NASA's final built-for-flight space shuttle external tank will cross oceans and city streets this spring to be displayed at the California Science Center with the orbiter Endeavour. Launching from New Orleans on the anniversary of the first space shuttle mission, the tank will be barged across the Panama Canal prior to landing in Los Angeles for a road trip to its new home in May.


March 3, 2016

/ 5:20 p.m. CT (2320 GMT)


Countdown clock ticking again

: The iconic countdown clock that for four decades stood at Kennedy Space Center's press site is now ticking again, two years after it was replaced. On Tuesday (March 1), the Apollo and space shuttle-era clock was dedicated at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to track launch times for guests.


March 5, 2016

/ 2:50 p.m. CT (2050 GMT)


Adjusting to Earth

: Scott Kelly's skin hurts. After 340 days in space without any physical contact, Kelly described that his skin is very sensitive and his muscles hurt "everywhere," in a press conference held on Friday (March 4) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Kelly said his biggest surprise about spending nearly a year in space was just how long it was. "It seemed like I'd lived [up] there forever. It seemed longer than I thought it would be."


March 7, 2016

/ 2:30 a.m. CT (0830 GMT)




N913NA on approach

: Almost four decades after flying together during the Approach and Landing Test Program, a NASA chase plane and the prototype orbiter Enterprise will meet again in early April onboard the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. The T-38 Talon supersonic jet with tail number 913 will add to the Intrepid's displays that share Enterprise's history.


March 7, 2016

/ 1:10 p.m. CT (1910 GMT)


A Beautiful Planet

: A newly-released trailer for the IMAX film "A Beautiful Planet" gives a first look at the spectacular Earth views seen and filmed by astronauts on board the space station. Directed by Toni Myers and narrated by actress Jennifer Lawrence, "A Beautiful Planet" is set to open in 2D and 3D large-format theaters on April 29.


March 8, 2016

/ 5:00 p.m. CT (2300 GMT)


'SS Rick Husband'

: Orbital ATK unveiled on Tuesday (March 8) it was honoring the fallen commander of space shuttle Columbia's final mission by christening its next Cygnus cargo spaceship the S.S. Rick Husband. The OA-6 mission freighter is the first the company has named for an astronaut who helped build the International Space Station, which is the ship's destination. Husband was the first space shuttle pilot to dock an orbiter to the burgeoning complex.


March 9, 2016

/ 10:00 a.m. CT (1600 GMT)


Quarter-scale shuttle

: NASA's largest, sub-scale engineering model of the space shuttle landed on Monday (March 7) at an airport in Georgia to await its display at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus. The five story tall quarter-scale space shuttle replica, which includes an external tank and solid rocket boosters, was used in the 1970s to test the stack before the real vehicle launched.


March 11, 2016

/ 12:25 a.m. CT (0625 GMT)


Shuttle's engine relit for SLS

: The last time that RS-25 rocket engine no. 2059 was fired, it was at the tail end of Endeavour helping to power the second-to-last launch of the space shuttle program. It was relit Thursday (March 10) to prepare for its next use on the first crewed mission of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). The 500-second test was the first for an engine that will fly on the new rocket.


March 11, 2016

/ 6:55 p.m. CT (0055 GMT Mar 12)


Scott Kelly to retire from NASA

: Astronaut Scott Kelly, who holds the U.S. record for the most time spent in space, has announced he is retiring from NASA on April 1, exactly one month after he landed from almost a year on the International Space Station. Kelly on Friday (March 11) wrote that he was "grateful for the remarkable twenty years spent as an astronaut," adding his "journey is not over."


March 14, 2016

/ 4:45 a.m. CT (0945 GMT)


ExoMars 2016 launches

: The European-led ExoMars 2016 mission launched on Monday (March 14) atop a Russian Proton booster to search for signs of life on the red planet. The probe, comprising the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator, is set to arrive at Mars Oct. 19 after traveling 308 million miles.


March 15, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


Year of Yuri Gagarin

: The next three person crew to launch to the space station will do so aboard a rocket decorated with the image of the first human in space. The fairing that will protect Russia's Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft during its ascent to orbit on Friday (March 18) displays the logo for the "Year of Yuri Gagarin," Roscosmos' celebration of the 55th anniversary of the first crewed space mission.


March 16, 2016

/ 1:00 a.m. CT (0600 GMT)




First docking at 50

: Wednesday (March 16) marks 50 years since Gemini 8 achieved the world's first docking between space vehicles in orbit. Neil Armstrong and David Scott flew Gemini 8 through a rendezvous and docking with an Agena target vehicle. The successful link up though was followed by a dangerous emergency, forcing a struggle to control the spacecraft and the mission ending early.


March 17, 2016

/ 1:15 a.m. CT (0615 GMT)


Bookending TMA-M

: Oleg Skripochka is set to launch onboard Russia's Soyuz TMA-20M Friday (Mar. 18), making him the first person to fly on the first and last flights of a type of spacecraft. Skripochka's first mission was on board TMA-01M, the maiden use of the 'digital' Soyuz. The next launch will introduce the Soyuz MS, the final model of the venerable Russian capsule, which dates back to 1967.


March 18, 2016

/ 4:35 p.m. CT (2135 GMT)


Last of its type lift-off

: Jeff Williams, Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka left the Earth for the International Space Station on Friday (March 18), launching on the last of Russia's Soyuz TMA-M series spacecraft. Williams is the first NASA astronaut to spend three long duration stays on the space station and will set a new American record for total days in orbit by the time that he and his Expedition 47/48 cosmonaut crewmates return home in September.


March 21, 2016

/ 9:00 a.m. CT (1400 GMT)


First flights fête

: The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation will host the crews of the first two space shuttle missions to celebrate the STS-1 and STS-2 35th anniversaries. The dinner, to be held at Space Center Houston on Sept. 17, will feature STS-1 pilot Robert Crippen and STS-2 crew members Joe Engle and Richard Truly. The three will share stories of their flights with their capcom Dan Brandenstein.


March 22, 2016

/ 12:00 a.m. CT (0500 GMT)


Pop-up shop in space

: If something breaks on the International Space Station, the crew can't run out to a local hardware store to find the part they need. So Lowe's is bringing the shop to the orbiting outpost. Set to launch on Orbital ATK's S.S. Rick Husband Cygnus ship, the Additive Manufacturing Facility from Lowe's and Made In Space will introduce commercial 3D printing services to Earth orbit.


March 22, 2016

/ 7:30 a.m. CT (1230 GMT)


'So you're saying there's a chance'

: A new commemorative patch offered by Yuri's Night recognizes the record number of people who applied to become an astronaut. Created by space emblem artist Tim Gagnon, the limited edition #BeAnAstronaut patch is for both the 18,300 people who applied to NASA for its next astronaut class and those who didn't apply but want to support human spaceflight.


March 22, 2016

/ 10:25 p.m. CT (0325 GMT)


Cygnus lifts off on Atlas

: Now on its way to resupply the International Space Station, the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo freighter S.S. Rick Husband launched on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday night (Mar. 22). The spacecraft, named for the fallen astronaut, will not only deliver science to the orbiting outpost, but for the first time will serve as a platform for a combustion study and cubesat launches after it departs the space station in two months.


March 24, 2016

/ 3:00 a.m. CT (0800 GMT)


Safe travels Liberty Bell 7!

For a third time since its restoration in Kansas 17 years ago, Liberty Bell 7 has left the Cosmosphere. Gus Grissom's Mercury space capsule will spend the next three years on display in Indiana at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The spacecraft will be part of an immersive space object experience debuting in the museum's Beyond Spaceship Earth gallery in June.


March 28, 2016

/ 9:00 a.m. CT (1400 GMT)


Space Walk of Fame auction

: Two hundred space collectibles and astronaut artifacts will be auctioned on Saturday (April 2) to benefit the U.S. Space Walk of Fame in Florida. The museum, which displays more than 50 years of spaceflight history, is dedicated to honoring the men and women who made the missions possible. The sale features flown to the moon artifacts that were donated by astronauts Charlie Duke and Fred Haise, among others.


March 30, 2016

/ 5:00 p.m. CT (2200 GMT)




Shuttle-Centaur on the move

: Loaded onto a wheeled trailer on Wednesday (March 30), the last existing Shuttle-Centaur rocket stage is leaving the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama for NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where it will be displayed. The Centaur-G Prime stage was designed to launch with a robotic probe inside a space shuttle's payload bay, but was deemed to be too much of a risk after the Challenger accident in 1986.



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